snuba diving best things to do in Costa Rica

What does it take to top our list of the best beach towns in Costa Rica? Family-friendly activities (like snuba, pictured), for one thing!

Costa Rica reigns supreme as the quintessential family oasis, captivating visitors young and young-at-heart with its awe-inspiring biodiversity, gorgeous tropical sun, and rich cultural tapestry. The best beach towns in Costa Rica grant you access to it all.

Despite its compact size — spanning just 19,700 square miles, making it even smaller than West Virginia — Costa Rica offers a tapestry of diverse landscapes and spectacular sights. Journey through chilly mountain ranges, sun-kissed beaches, lush rainforests, ethereal cloud forests, dynamic rivers, and rare tropical dry forests – nearly extinct around the world. Our spellbinding landscapes pave the way for a myriad of outdoor adventures and indelible moments that create forever memories along the way.

3 of the Best Beach Towns in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is an incredibly family-friendly destination. And, while choosing a specific destination within Costa Rica is subjective – it’s about aligning with your family’s needs, be they around particular experiences, scenic views, or other preferences – we’re always ready to offer some top suggestions!

With that in mind, a few Costa Rica beach towns regularly feature in family vacations, due to their locations, amenities, tours, and prevalence of family-friendly vacation homes. Three of our top choices include:

Tamarindo / Playa Langosta

explore Costa Rica from Tamarindo

Tamarindo is not just one of the best beach towns in Costa Rica, but one of the world’s favorite Costa Rica destinations: Known for epic surf and just-caught seafood, Tamarindo stands as the largest “city” – and that is a very relative term, considering that the sandy main street stretches only one mile long! – on Costa Rica’s Gold Coast.

Once a funky fishing town, Tamarindo has matured (a bit!) into a town that lives by a motto of “surf, eat, and have fun.” And if the town’s joie de vivre doesn’t win your family over, then you’ll quickly fall in love with our jaw-dropping sunsets and world-renowned surfrare tropical dry forest and record-making sport fishing, plus some truly great places to dine, shop, relax, and be entertained.

Here, there’s something for every family member – from the youngest to the young at heart. Indeed, welcome to a powerhouse of incredible restaurants, eclectic nightlife, diverse shopping and, most importantly, spectacular scenery that hosts an incredible variety of things to do. Want to know more? Check out our full Tamarindo travel guide.

>> Tamarindo Vacation Rentals <<

Hacienda Pinilla / Playa Avellanas

Hacienda Pinilla Costa Rica surf spots

There are some places that you have to experience to believe: Hacienda Pinilla is one of them. Just four miles from downtown Tamarindo, Hacienda Pinilla unfolds over some of Costa Rica’s most spectacular and exclusive real estate.

This private resort community – the crown jewel of Avellanas and one of our best beach towns in Costa Rica – was built on 4,500 acres of historic ranch land and borders three pristine beaches (Avellanas, Langosta, and Mansita) – the confluence of natural beautyadventure, and Costa Rican heritage, in one unforgettable family vacation.

Hacienda Pinilla’s amenities will feature heavily in your family’s vacation and joy. Here, you’ll discover a  multi-million-dollar Beach Club, equipped with a beachfront infinity pool and restaurant/bar; a 72-par, 7,200-yard golf course and Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary; immaculate tennis courts, surrounded by royal palms and a short walk to the beach; spectacular surf and pristine beaches, including one of the most beautiful in the country; and 25+ miles of hiking and biking trails, which wend and wind through some of Guanacaste province’s most remote landscapes.

All this, just 15-20 minutes to Tamarindo and its established infrastructure and traveler amenities, including restaurants and nightlifetours and attractionsadventures and activities. Check out our full Hacienda Pinilla travel guide.

>> Hacienda Pinilla Vacation Rentals <<

Playa Conchal

Playa Conchal

When all the travel books and the experts and the seasoned visitors discuss the top Costa Rica beach towns, it’s often an introduction to one of the country’s most beloved beaches: Playa Conchal, named for the millions of tiny shells (conchas) that comprise its slightly pink-hued beach.

Like many beach towns (including Avellanas, above), Conchal is the name for both beach an town. And here, for its other claim to fame: Reserva Conchal, one of Costa Rica’s most luxurious beach communities and home to resort amenities including an 18-hole golf course, a spectacular beach clubfine dining, and more.

Your family will love Playa Conchal, a breathtaking beach famous for its pristine white-pink coastline, primarily composed of tiny crushed seashells. The turquoise waters are perfect for swimming and snorkeling, allowing you to explore the vibrant marine life and coral reefs. Nearby, you can also visit Brasilito, a fishing village (and burgeoning beach town) beloved for its excellent seafood.

>> Playa Conchal Vacation Rentals <<

Where to Stay for Families


If you’re going to visit the best beach towns in Costa Rica, then chances are good you’ll also want to stay there. And, while you can click our links above to explore the full width and breadth of our Tamarindo, Langosta, Hacienda Pinilla, and Playa Conchal offerings, here are a few family-friendly vacation homes to start your dreaming:

Casa Leo Loco

Tamarindo | 6 Beds | 4 Baths | 12 Guests

Casa Leo Loco with private ocean-view swimming pool-min

There’s something truly special about lounging in your own, private pool or hot tub, with just this view as company.

Breathtaking Tamarindo Bay and ocean views, lush gardens, a multi-level infinity pool ­– what more could you ask from one of our top Costa Rica homes for rent?

Well, if the home is question is Casa Leo Loco, you could also request (and receive) eco-friendly designexpansive terraceslocally sourced hardwoods, and generously proportioned glass doors – everything you need for indoor/outdoor living in the tropics.

And then, there are those striking panoramas: Overlooking the Pacific and so close, you can almost hear the waves crashing you need only look out you window to check for the day’s surf conditions. Don’t even get us started on the sunsets!

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Puesta del Sol

Tamarindo | 6 Beds | 6 Baths | 16 Guests

Puesta del Sol family vacation rental Tamarindo Costa Rica

Have you ever had the experience of feeling truly one with nature? It’s the kind of feeling that rolls over and through your whole body – a surety, a lightness, a sense of knowing that all is exactly as it should be.

That’s what it feels like to walk into Puesta del Sol and step out onto its Pacific-view terrace for the first time. Sit down by your private pool. Grab the drink of your choice. And let the sea breeze and sunlight wash over. Wait, just a little while. Hear the call of sea birds and the language of the trees. Listen for distant howler monkeys or squawking parrots.

And, as the sun drops, watch as Puesta del Sol earns its name (Sunset House): From here, on your exclusive perch, you’ll have a poolside seat to Costa Rica’s most spectacular sunset – a kaleidoscope, a watercolor, a color wheel, all at once. This is why you’re here.

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Casa Limoncillo

Tamarindo | 3 Bedrooms | 3 Baths | Sleeps 12

Casa Limoncillo family vacation rental Costa Rica

Casa Limoncillo, a modern paradise just 5 minutes to the beach, is a tribute to outdoor relaxation, tropical ambiance, and cherished moments with loved ones. Experience a genuine touch of Costa Rica and the pura vida in this sanctuary far from the ordinary.

Here, every amenity you desire awaits – from a spacious, shaded rancho ideal for outdoor relaxation, to a fire pit that sets the stage for marshmallow roasting and gazing at the stars. While the kids revel in fun on the trampoline and jungle gym – complete with a rock-climbing wall, adults will find solace by the refreshing saltwater pool.

Property hosts, Erin and Eymhus, reside here with their family and furry companions. They are always ready to lend a helping hand, whether it’s offering insightful suggestions or simply a wave and a friendly smile, as you stroll by and step into your plans for the day.

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Discuss a Luxury Family Vacation with Your Concierge

When you reserve one of our luxury villas in Costa Rica, you’re booking more than just a spectacular home; your reservation also includes full travel concierge services.

So, what does that mean? Well, when you make your reservation, our skilled in-house concierge will get in touch. She is an expert in all things pura vida (including the best beach towns in Costa Rica) and her job is to get to know you that well, too. Share your desires and preferences, peruse our recommendations, and start building your must-haves, can’t-miss lists.

Our concierge will tailor your vacation to your specific needs and interests. From the little details – airport pickup and a private chef – to all your activities and transportation, our concierge services are absolutely and always free for our guests. You dream, we take care of the details.

Please get in touch for more information about our Costa Rica luxury vacation villas and our concierge services.